Back in July the Pod 39 Hotel, which offers "personalized accommodations for the stylish and spend thrifty traveler," opened inside the landmarked Allerton House on East 39th Street. Just a few months later, the charming rooftop bar began serving up specialty cocktails from Sam Anderson (Hotel Delmano, Freemans, Goldbar) with views of the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building. Now the hotel has welcomed another culinary luminary, as Salvation Taco officially opens on the ground floor.
Partners Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield, who together have created some of New York City's most buzz-worthy restaurants—The Spotted Pig, The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, The John Dory Oyster Bar—collaborated with chef Robert Santibañez of Fonda for a menu snacks, appetizers, tacos, tortas and family style entree platters. Tacos ($3) come stuffed with roasted cauliflower with curried crema, skirt steak with pecan and chipotle and the delightfully odd—for a taco—Moroccan lamb breast on naan. Hearty tortas with confit chicken thigh and grilled lamb tongue run between $7 - $9 and a pork belly and pineapple salad tops out the small bites menu at $10. Entrees of Barbacoa lamb shoulder and a whole roasted pig's head come accompanied by salsas, tortillas and seasonal sides.
Perhaps equally as enticing as the food is the convivial decor, with multicolored bar stools and lamps, offset by an earthy terra-cotta floor and weathered brick walls. Decor features food items both real and fake, with jars of spices and herbs lining backlit glass shelves and whimsical tile wall pieces designed to look like fruits and vegetables. Sam Anderson's spirited cocktails are available at the tile-topped bar until late in the evening, including a boozy 5 Island Horchata and the American Firing Squad with applejack, rye whiskey, mulled wine grenadine, chamomile, amargo-vallet and fresh orange and lemon juices. The restaurant, which was so named for the Salvation Army that previously occupied the spot, is currently open starting at 7 a.m. for breakfast and lunch with dinner service beginning next Monday.
145 East 39th Street, inside the Pod 39 Hotel // (212) 865-5800